Wireless Local Area Networks

Archived Published: 04 April 2008 ID: G00203475


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Improvements in throughput (802.11n), security (WPA2), and quality of service (WMM) have enabled network managers to evolve wireless local area network (WLAN) deployments from pilot trials to production networking. But questions abound. Should enterprises deploy 802.11n now? What spectrum should enterprises use? When should wireless be used instead of wired Ethernet? In this Reference Architecture technical position, Burton Group Senior Analyst Paul DeBeasi answers these and other questions.

Table of Contents

  • Decision Point
  • Typical Requirements
    • Security
    • Rogue APs
    • Signal Coverage and AP Placement
    • Network Management
    • Certification/Interoperability
    • Service Levels
    • Power over Ethernet
    • Quality of Service
    • Guest Access
    • Roaming
    • Regulatory Compliance
  • Alternatives
    • Radio Technology
      • IEEE 802.11b
      • IEEE 802.11g
      • IEEE 802.11a
      • IEEE 802.11n
    • 802.11n Modes of Operation
    • 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz Band
    • Autonomous AP or WLAN System
      • Autonomous APs
      • WLAN Systems
    • WLAN Security
      • Encryption
      • Authentication
  • Future Developments
    • Power over Ethernet
    • 802.11n Standards Development
    • Additional 802.11 Standards Development
  • Evaluation Criteria
  • Statement & Basis for Position
    • WLAN Radio Technology Position
      • Use dual-radio, dual-band IEEE 802.11n APs with support for 802.11h
    • WLAN System Position
      • Deploy WLAN systems at that site.
      • Deploy autonomous APs.
    • WLAN Security Position
      • Deploy WPA2.
      • Deploy a VPN
    • WLAN Regulatory Compliance Position
      • Deploy equipment that supports 802.11d and 802.11h.
    • WLAN Spectrum Selection Position
      • Provide 802.11b/g support
      • Provide 802.11a support.
      • Provide 802.11b/g and 802.11a support.
      • Provide 802.11n greenfield-mode support.
    • WLAN vs. Ethernet Deployment Position
      • Deploy a wired Ethernet access network only.
      • Deploy a WLAN access network.
  • Relationship to Other Components
  • Revision History
© 2008 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction and distribution of this publication in any form without prior written permission is forbidden. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartners research may discuss legal issues related to the information technology business, Gartner does not provide legal advice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.

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